How Jesus Overcame

(For information on the humanity of Christ, see Hebrews 2:14-17.)

According to Hebrews 10:5-9, Jesus began His earthly life consecrated to the service of God. Before taking on human form He said to His Father, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." Thus He entered into covenant with God.

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 John 3:9. This was the power that kept Jesus from sinning. As long as He maintained His commitment to God, God's keeping power was upon Him.

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15. Satan exerted intense pressure upon Jesus to sin, but was rebuffed at every attempt.

"Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Hebrews 5:7-9. Jesus' secret was His firm hold upon His Father's strength, the earnestness with which He sought the victory, His uncompromising submission to His Father's will, and His willingness to endure suffering.

As His earthly life was about to close, Jesus declared, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." John 14:30. "I have kept my Father's commandments." John 15:10. So unbroken had been His covenant with God that there was nothing in Him which responded to Satan's temptations.

In the closing scenes of His life, Jesus faced His greatest test. Once again, He entered this experience with a firm commitment to the will of God: "Not my will, but thine, be done." Luke 22:42. Thus He was strengthened to endure what no other man has ever been called upon to endure. Faithful unto death, He closed the battle with the triumphant cry, "It is finished." John 19:30.

Jesus invites us to follow in His steps. By entering into covenant with God we may be born again, born of the Spirit, born into His life. And because "whatsoever is born of God sinneth not" (1 John 5:18), the same keeping power which Jesus enjoyed is available to us. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." 1 Peter 2:21.

As Jesus resisted sin in the power of God, so may we. "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:18. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16.